New year, new you...new state?
Relocating is expensive and stressful. But it can also be a great way to get a fresh start, especially if you're in the midst of a career change or transition in your personal life.
When selecting your next residence, it literally pays to do your research. These five states offer relocation and residency incentives, which can help with costly moving expenses. (Or just help you make up your mind if you're throwing darts at the map in search of your next fresh start.)
Here's where to head if you want some free spare change along with a change of scenery.
Living in America's last frontier isn't always easy. But those long, dark winters are counterbalanced by legendarily glorious summers -- and, famously, the annual dividend paid out to each resident by the Alaska Permanent Fund.
The check each Alaskan receives varies from year to year, depending on the fund's returns. But the amount was more than $2,000 in 2015 -- not too shabby. Of course, given the state's high cost of living, you'll need all the help you can get. Good thing those epic aurora views are free!
Fancy a life of sipping craft coffee and brews in ultratrendy Boulder, while spending weekends skiing down some of the world's top slopes?
It's no secret that Colorado's housing market has seen steep price increases over the past decade -- that Centennial State lifestyle does sound pretty attractive. (Also: there's legalized marijuana.)
But the state also offers some of the most abundant and generous homeownership assistance programs in the country. Benefits vary by county, but include down-payment grants, home-buyer education, and help with closing costs.
It might not be the sexiest state on the list, but Kansas offers some pretty attractive moving incentives to those willing to relocate into one of its Rural Opportunity Zones.
Although perks vary slightly depending on exactly which county you move to, you could have your state income tax waived for five years and receive a $15,000 student loan repayment. There's no place like home, right?
You know that small business idea you've had on the back burner for a few years now? If you're ready to give it a shot, Maine might be the place. After all, Portland is just as hip these days as its West Coast counterpart by the same name -- and investment organizations like the Maine Venture Fund are helping to continue that recent growth spurt.
There's also the Visit for a Week, Stay for a Lifetime program, which tries to hook visitors by offering reimbursements for vacation expenses to those who decide to extend their stay indefinitely. The benefits are doled out on a per-case basis by specific employers, so you'll have to work out the specifics directly. But can you think of a better start to the stressful relocation process than a free vacation?
What goes better with pancakes than fresh maple syrup? How about a five-figure relocation incentive?
Earlier this year, the state passed a bill aimed at drawing remote workers to the Green Mountain State by offering up to $10,000 to cover relocation and work-related expenses. To qualify, would-be Vermonters must be full-time employees of a company based outside the state, and must become state residents within the year. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, with a total of $125,000 available for distribution in 2019.